GVI: Animal Care Volunteering

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Join a GVI marine and wildlife conservation volunteer project. You will have the opportunity to extend your passion for animals toward impact-driven initiatives. Your efforts support short, mid, and long-term objectives that align with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Programs are based all around the world with opportunities to safeguard endangered sea turtles in Greece, assist elephant caretakers with health checks and the reintegration of previously working elephants into more natural settings in Thailand, tracking and collecting data on lemon sharks in Seychelles, and species identification and beach clean-ups in Fiji.

This is also an opportunity to connect with other GVI participants, staff, and local community members, taste traditional cuisines, and make life-long friendships.

  • Learn more about marine and wildlife conservation, gaining first-hand experience alongside professional conservationists.
  • Support short, mid, and long-term objectives that are measured against the UN SDGs.
  • Safeguard endangered sea turtles in Greece, assist elephant caretakers in Thailand, collect data on the lemon shark in Seychelles, and learn species identification in Fiji.
  • Meet people from all around the world and make life-long friendships with like-minded people.
  • Travel ethically, try new cuisines, and become a global citizen.

GVI global programs are open!

We're thrilled to announce that nine of our global locations are now open, including Greece, Thailand, Nepal, Seychelles, South Africa, Costa Rica and Mexico. We're also taking bookings for our Thailand, Chiang Mai, Lao and Peru locations for 2021. Stay tuned for more locations coming your way soon, including a new location addition in the Canary Islands.

Questions & Answers


9.67 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
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  • Impact 8.7
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 8.7
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Dedication

The most noteworthy aspect of my stay at the GVI Karongwe base was the amazing dedication of the staff to both the volunteers and to the mission of wildlife well being. The staff worked hard to ensure every volunteer felt they were part of the team. The staff also was very passionate about the wildlife we would see and the animals well being. Note, the staff members are going out to monitor the animals twice a day, 363 days a year. One might think they would get burnt out, but that was not the case. They even vacationed at Kruger National Park to observe more wildlife.
I have taken a number of trips overseas, usually to surf. This was easily the best trip and experience I have had.

Robert "Mike" Lewis

What would you improve about this program?
GVI Karongwe does an excellent job with the resources they are provided. I know they are working on having power 24/7. This would be the biggest improvement when it occurs.
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My Month With Elephants

My trip to Thailand to work with elephants was one of the most valuable experiences of my life. I learned so much about myself when I spent so much time around people with different social and cultural backgrounds, and living in a homestay with a Thai family made me learn so much more. I don't know if I would recommend this trip to anyone younger than 20 years old or so because you are extremely remote while in Huay Pakoot and more often than not you don't have access to internet/phone. I loved learning about elephants and experiencing them in a way that did not harm them and allowed them to go back to their natural habitat. The Mahouts were very helpful and shared their culture with us generously. I will always bring this experience with me and I thank GVI for putting together such an impactful program.

What would you improve about this program?
I would want GVI to implement more emergency phones in the village because it's true that there are things like venomous snakes and insects. If anyone got bitten by them (a dog got bitten by one while I was there) and they weren't near a phone/radio, things could go really bad really quickly.
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


At the project we used to go on hikes with the elephants and taking notes of wich plants they eat and if they touch each other. Also we would take notes of any other animals we would encounter during the hike, from small insects to birds and snakes and even gibbons.
we would often hear the gibbons but it was very rare to see them.
On one of the hikes we were able to see a gibbon climbing in the trees, even if it was quite far away it was an amazing experience.

What would you improve about this program?
There wasen't realy anything that i didn't like. the only thing i can think of is that the villagers would throw plastic in the fire to burn it when we were cooking on hikes instead of taking it with them and throwing it away
2 people found this review helpful.